Volume Basics 5-3-100 Muscle Building Workout

Volume Basics 5-3-100 Muscle Building Workout

Complicated workouts can baffle and mystify the masses, making them believe that faster results will come. This is a lie, of course.

We all understand why the lifting industry is filled with so much nonsense. You need to be different to gather eyeballs. You can't just shovel the same old load of gains and expect people to take notice.

Related - Your First Muscle Building Workout

That's the belief, at least.

I ignore this "belief," of course, and focus on the basics. The basics work. Over time enough people have used my programs (and experienced solid results) to know that they don't need more.

This isn't to say you can't do more. Not at all. You just don't need complication.

I guess that's my point of differentiation. In a world of complication, I'm the simple guy.

Works for me. The basics have built me a lot of muscle and strength.

So what are the basics?

  1. Barbell and dumbbell exercises should be the cornerstone of your program.
  2. You must get a lot stronger than you are now on these exercises.
  3. Be patient. Muscle building takes years not months.
  4. There are no shortcuts. When you feel compelled to seek a shortcut return to #1 and #2 above.
  5. Use a reasonable amount of volume. This means you probably need to be doing at least six sets of compound movements each workout backed up by some quality volume on machines, bodyweight exercises, etc.
  6. Keep your diet consistent. Set baseline goals each day for calories and protein and hit them. If you don't take your diet seriously you aren't taking progress seriously.

With this established, let's assume you either workout at home, or prefer to keep it simple. This muscle building workout will focus on the use of:

  • Barbell exercises
  • Dumbbell exercises
  • Bodyweight exercises

You may also get creative and utilize TRX exercises as well. There are no real rules here other than keeping it simple and efficient.

5 3 100 Workout to Build Muscle

Here are the workout mechanics. Each workout will consist of a barbell and dumbbell exercise, followed by 100 reps of bodyweight work. 

  • Exercise #1 - 5 sets x 10 reps (Barbell or dumbbell)
  • Exercise #2 - 3 sets x 15 reps (Barbell or dumbbell)
  • Exercise #3 - 100 reps of bodyweight work

Doesn't seem like much? It's 185 total reps per workout, a solid amount of volume.

If you lead off with a barbell exercise, follow-up with a dumbbell movement. If your workout begins with a dumbbell exercise, follow it up with a barbell movement.

You get the picture.

As for the bodyweight work, it is rest-pause. Get to 100 total reps as quickly, and as safely, as possible. Rest as needed.

Also, you don't need to use just one bodyweight exercise to get to 100 total reps. Use two or three if you like, as long as they are performed in a rest-pause style.

For example, you could perform:

  • 100 push-ups
  • 50 dips and 50 push-ups
  • OR alternate between 10 reps of dips and 10 reps of push-ups until you reach 100 total

I'm going to provide two sample workouts; a body part split and an A/B split for those of you that prefer frequency training. Here goes...

Body Part Split

  • Day 1 - Chest and Triceps
  • Day 2 - Back and Biceps
  • Day 3 - Off
  • Day 4 - Shoulders and Traps
  • Day 5 - Legs
  • Day 6 - Off
  • Day 7 - Off
Day 1
Chest and Triceps
Exercise Sets Reps
Barbell Bench Press  5  10
Dumbbell Bench Press  3  15
Push-Ups and Dips    100
Day 2
Back and Biceps
Exercise Sets Reps
Barbell Row  5  10
DB Row  3  15
TRX Rows and TRX Curls    100
Day 3
Shoulders and Traps
Exercise Sets Reps
Dumbbell Arnold Press  5  10
Military Press  3  15
Barbell Shrugs    100
Day 4
Exercise Sets Reps
Squats  5  10
Dumbbell Romanian Deadlifts  3  15
Bodyweight Squats and Lunges    100

A/B Split

  • Day 1 - Workout A-1
  • Day 2 - Workout B-1
  • Day 3 - Off
  • Day 4 - Workout A-2
  • Day 5 - Workout B-2
  • Day 6 - Off
  • Day 7 - Off
Workout A-1
Day 1
Exercise Sets Reps
Barbell Bench Press  5  10
Dumbbell Arnold Press  3  15
Push-Ups and Dips    100
Workout B-1
Day 2
Exercise Sets Reps
Squats  5  10
Dumbbell Rows  3  15
TRX Rows, Bodyweight Squats, TRX Curls    100
Workout A-2
Day 4
Exercise Sets Reps
Military Press  5  10
Dumbbell Bench Press  3  15
TRX Triceps Extensions and TRX Push-Ups    100
Workout B-2
Day 5
Exercise Sets Reps
Barbell Rows  5  10
Dumbbell Romanian Deadlifts  3  15
TRX Rows, Bodyweight Lunges, TRX Curls    100
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